Saturday, October 22

Jalapeno Chicken Poppers

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites.jpg
These little yummy morsels are easy to make & oh so good! You can't eat just one - EVER!
8 chicken tenders, flattened & cut in two
3 oz package softened cream cheese
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & finely chopped
8 slices bacon, cut in half
Dab ½ teaspoon (more or less) of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle a scant ¼ teaspoon of peppers over cream cheese. Fold or roll chicken to enclose cream cheese mixture. Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.
Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. An inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be an unforgettable experience. For reference, if you are substituting for the chicken tenders (i.e. dark meat, large pieces of chicken breast, game meat), the size of the tenders I used were 5-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide before flattening and cutting in half. Try flattening meat inside a zip-lock bag as pictured above. No flying pieces, no contamination on your cutting board from the chicken, and cleanup is super easy.   

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This strawberry pretzel salad is always a hit at parties & potlucks. It's a strawberry jello dessert that is dangerously good! It's sweet, salty, tart and oh so irresistible!


2 cups finely crushed pretzels
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ cup salted butter, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces Cool Whip

Strawberry Topping:
2 cups boiling water
1 (6-ounce package) Strawberry Jell-O
1½ cups cold water
4 cups sliced strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the pretzel crumbs and sugar. Pour the melted butter over top and stir with a fork until all of the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 min, then cool completely.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the Cool Whip. Spread evenly over the crust and refrigerate while you prepare the topping.

3. Place the dry Jello in a large bowl and add the boiling water. Stir for at least 2 minutes, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in the cold water. Refrigerate for 1½ hours or until slightly thickened (will the consistency of egg whites). Stir in the strawberries and pour over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until the Jello layer is set. Cut into squares to serve. Leftovers should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sloppy Joes

I made these Sloppy Joes for a potluck we had a work & they were a HUGE hit! They are SO good & have decided to make this my "go-to" SJ recipe & ditch the cans of Man-wich! Yet another great recipe from the Pioneer Woman :)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
5 cloves Garlic, Minced
1-1/2 cup Ketchup
1 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Chili Powder (more To Taste)
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
Tabasco Sauce (optional; To Taste)
Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Kaiser Rolls

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Spread rolls with butter and brown on a griddle or skillet. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls, topping with a slice of cheese if you like. Enjoy :)

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

This is a great soup to put in the crock-pot & forget about it until supper time. If you love Mexican, you will love this soup!!

1 chopped onion
1 can chili beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can tomato sauce
12 oz beer or chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1 chopped garlic clove
3 chicken breasts
cheddar cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips
Cilantro for garnish (optional)
  1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, cumin & garlic & stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, & cook for 5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, & allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, & continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, & crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

Pumpkin Bars w/Cream Cheese Frosting

A co-worker of mine brought these delicious bars in for work the other day & they were SO yummy! I begged her for the recipe & she delivered the next day :) Give these a try this fall season - you won't be disappointed!!

Pumpkin Bars
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
15oz can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix together in large bowl eggs, oil, sugar, pumpkin & set aside. Sift in bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & nutmeg. Mix with other ingredients. Pour in greased & floured 10x15" bar pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

6oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 T cream or milk
1 tsp vanilla
Walnuts & pumpkin candy (optional)

Mix cream cheese, butter, milk & vanilla together & the powdered sugar until the right consistence. Frost bars & sprinkle with walnuts. Decorate with pumpkin candy.

Saturday, November 7

Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches

This amazing hot beef sandwich recipe comes straight out of my own mother's kitchen. She made these while I was home visiting a few years back & I had to copy the recipe down to take back home with me. There are SO good! This is a great recipe for a cold winter day & tastes even better with swiss cheese melted on it!

Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches
1 chuck roast or arm roast
1 can beef broth
1 packet Good Seasons dry Italian seasoning
1 can beef au jus (or beef consomme)
1 pkg hoagie buns
sliced onions
swiss cheese, sliced (optional)

Put the roast in the crock pot & pour the beef broth, can of au jus (or beef consomme) & Italian dry seasoning mix over the roast. Fill the empty beef broth can with water & add to rest of the ingredients in crock pot. Cover & let cook 6-8 hours. When done, shred the meat with a fork & let sit in meat juices. Put some of the meat onto a hoagie bun, add some sliced onions & add a slice of swiss cheese if you like. (I put it into the microwave for 30 sec to melt the cheese). Enjoy :)

Sunday, August 3

Queso Dip

If you are looking for a really good tortilla chip dip recipe this is it! It is thick, creamy & oh so good! I use both the ground beef & the sausage which adds a great flavor! Who doesn't love a good cheese dip??

Queso Dip
1 block (32 Oz. Block) Velveeta Cheese
1 package (8 Oz. Package) Cream Cheese
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel
1 can (10.75 Oz. Can) Cream Of Mushroom Soup
1 pound Ground Beef OR Sausage (or a combination of both)

Brown ground beef or sausage (or both) in a pan over medium heat & set aside. Cut up the Velveeta & cream cheese into cubes & place into a crock pot. Pour in the Rotel & the cream of mushroom soup & stir ingredients together. Place the crock pot on low setting for an hour, letting the ingredients meld. After about 30 minutes, add the browned meat & continue to let cook, stirring as needed.

Serve with tortilla chips & enjoy!

Saturday, August 2

Chicken Enchiladas

A co-worker of mine gave me this recipe for her Chicken Enchiladas & not only are they super easy to put together, but they are dee-lish! I have already made this recipe 4 times & pair it with my Mexican Rice recipe - YUM!

Chicken Enchiladas

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
8 oz sour cream
1/2 jar of Pace picante sauce
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 19 oz can Old El Paso enchilada sauce
1 10oz can Old El Paso green chili sauce

Mix together the chicken, sour cream, picanta sauce & cheese & spoon into corn tortillas. Roll up & place seam down into a 9x13 greased baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas as well as the green chili sauce. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top & bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes - or until hot & bubbly. 

Makes 10-12 enchiladas.

Tuesday, March 25

Egg Bake

My Mom makes this delicious Egg Bake often around the holidays & thought I might share it with you all. It is full of yummy stuff & definitely won't leave you feeling hungry! 

Egg Bake

1 Doz Eggs
1 Cup of milk OR half and half
1 Package of cubed hash brown potatoes
1 Package of Jimmy Dean Mild sausage, browned & drained
1 Package of bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 Onion chopped
1 package of fresh mushrooms sliced OR chopped
1 package of shredded cheddar cheese

1 green pepper, chopped

Spray 9 X 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Spread hash brown potatoes on bottom of baking dish. Cook sausage until not pink anymore. Fry your bacon (crumble bacon once fried). Saute onions, green peppers, mushrooms in a little butter until soft. Spread sausage & bacon in baking dish on top of potatoes. Sprinkle onions, mushrooms & green peppers over meat mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over sausage & bacon mixture. Beat your eggs with your milk/half & half. Add salt & pepper to egg mixture, slightly beat again. Pour egg mixture over the meat/veggie layers.

Cover & set in the refrigerator overnight or a few hours.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour covered with foil. Take egg bake out after one hour & sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese on top of egg bake. Keep foil off & put back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Check to make sure the center is not jiggly loose. The center should be set.

Take out of oven - let sit for about 5 minutes - cut into squares & enjoy.

You can add broccoli, ham or any thing else you may think sounds good to this if you also.

Sunday, March 23

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

I came across this "keeper" on Pinterest the other day & gave it a try. I had some chicken breasts in the freezer that needed to be cooked up & the rest of the ingredients on hand so I made this super easy casserole the night before & popped it into the oven a couple of hours before dinner the next day. It was SO good & one that I will definitely be making again. If you love a loaded baked potato then you will love this! It definitely isn't heart healthy - but what casserole is?!

3 - 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed & diced (about 1.5 lbs. or 4 1/2 cups) 
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced 
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, cooled & crumbled 
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking pan or casserole dish. Spread half of the diced potatoes in bottom of pan. Place the diced chicken breasts evenly on top. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half the bacon crumbles, 1/2 cup of the cheese, & half the green onions. Spread the remaining diced potatoes on top, followed by the remaining bacon, another 1/2 cup cheese, remaining green onions & another 1/4 teaspoon each salt & pepper. Pour heavy cream over top of casserole & then dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil & bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover & bake another 30 minutes. In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese & bake until melted. Serve.

Friday, March 21

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is one of my many "Pinterest-finds" & one I have made at least 3 times now as well as shared with others. Those "others" I speak of raved about how good this pork tenderloin was so thought it would be a good one to put on the blog. Give it a try - you too won't be disappointed!

(photo credit)

Crock pot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
2-3 pounds Pork Tenderloin
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 T soy sauce

Mix together the seasonings: sage, salt, pepper & garlic. Rub over the tenderloin. Place 1/2 cup water & the tenderloin in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8hours.

1 hour before the roast is finished, mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan; brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce.

Heat over medium heat & stir until mixture thickens - about 4 minutes. Brush roast with glaze 2-3 times during the last hour of cooking. (For a more caramelized crust, remove from crock pot & place on aluminum lined sheet pan, glaze & set under broiler for 1-2 minutes until bubbly & caramelized. Repeat 2-3 more times until desired crust is achieved.)

Serve with remaining glaze & enjoy!

Saturday, September 7

Fried Okra

Mu husband LOVES fried okra so I have been trying to find a good recipe for it! I came across this one on Paula Deen's website & made it this weekend! It turned out pretty darn good & will definitely be making it again!
Fried Okra

6 cups oil, for frying
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons House Seasoning, (recipe below) 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh okra, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup buttermilk


Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. (You may not need to use this much oil; do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.)

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, House Seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well. Carefully add okra to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. (It may be necessary to fry the okra in batches.) Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.